Detroit foundation aids in preserving inheritable assets

by / ⠀News / June 20, 2024
"Detroit Foundation Assets"

The Gilbert Family Foundation has teamed up with the City of Detroit and Detroit City Council Member Scott Benson to launch several programs designed to protect inheritable assets and family homes from potential losses. These initiatives provide estate planning and legal services to Detroit residents, aiming to safeguard their property rights and inherited housing equity.

These programs, supported by experienced legal professionals, aim to make the estate planning process more affordable, accessible, and secure. The objective is to empower property owners to fully grasp the importance of estate planning and effectively manage their assets to build generational wealth, improve financial security, and avoid unnecessary property loss.

Estimates by Detroit Future City indicate that roughly 5,500 heir-owned properties, valued above $268 million, lie within Detroit. Sadly, many of these properties may lose their worth or even end up in tax foreclosure due to a lack of proper legal documentation. This creates confusion, leading to neglected properties and negatively impacting property value and community development efforts.

Mayor Mike Duggan stressed the importance of residents seeing their homes as long-term sources of wealth.

Detroit Foundation’s efforts in preserving inheritable assets

He called for the establishment of efficient systems to ensure smooth property inheritance.

In partnership with Neighborhood Legal Services, the City of Detroit has allocated $668,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide free legal consultations to over 3,000 households. These services, including estate and will planning, are expected to benefit around 720 families.

The Gilbert Family Foundation also financially supports Lakeshore Legal Aid and Michigan Legal Services, enabling them to provide legal representation to approximately 500 families facing imminent property tax foreclosure. By doing so, these families are better equipped to protect their homes and build a more stable future.

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Recognizing the importance of estate planning for wealth generation, particularly for Black families, Detroit’s Wealth Generation Task Force has proposed several initiatives to increase awareness and provide easier access to estate planning resources. Scott Benson, chair of the Task Force, emphasized the need for a city-wide effort to engage residents in discussions about transferring wealth from generation to generation.

Furthermore, until 2025, the city plans to host free legal service workshops for eligible residents. To qualify, a participant must be a homeowner in Detroit and earn an income not exceeding 300% of federal poverty guidelines. Furthermore, those participating in the Gilbert Family Foundation program should meet specific income guidelines and be at risk of tax foreclosure.

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